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CNET Membership newsletter September 24, 2004 

The 5 that matter

Dear CNET members:
In case you haven't noticed, the new look and feel of CNET is alive and kicking! With these fresh and exciting changes and the addition of all-new Community features to our site--such as Insider Secrets, Weekend Project, Ask the Editors, Tech Nightmares, and the home-theater showcase we call Show Us Yours--it's time for us to revamp this newsletter also. But, of course, not before I get the chance to hear from you as to what you would like to see more or less of, because ultimately, this newsletter is for you. So please join me in this discussion and let me know what's on your mind.

And for those of you who e-mailed me about the changes to our site, a huge sincere thank-you. Not only did that mail make my day, I passed it along to the entire team at CNET, who have been feverishly working hard to dream big and bring you the best of what CNET has to offer.

Now let's move ahead and tackle Rahul's mysterious disappearing and reappearing CD-ROM drives. As with any hardware issue, it is difficult to troubleshoot, so I hope that this week's winning answer by Robert and the honorable mention will point you in the right direction. Good luck. Thanks for all your great submissions, everyone!

1For some time now, there has been a problem with my CD-ROM drives (CD-ROM and CD-RW drives). Sometimes the drives are recognized by Windows, and sometimes they are not. When they are not recognized, I can't open or use the CD drives, and the drives are not listed in My Computer. I even opened up the PC to make sure the drives were properly connected to the motherboard by removing and attaching the cables again. But even this did not solve the problem. Would someone know what the problem could be? I would really appreciate your help.

--Submitted by: Rahul M. of Auckland, New Zealand

The clue here is "intermittent." Your BIOS is not able to detect or maintain the detection for which ROM is the master, and which is the slave.

If either ROM cannot be detected or its detection cannot be maintained, detection for both ROMs will suffer from it and Windows will not see either one.

A primary and little-known cause of this problem is that one of the jumpers on the back of either ROM is becoming loose or is tarnished, creating an intermittent "nonconnection." Quick fix? Replace both ROMs' jumpers with fresh ones. Jumpers should offer some resistance when they're installed, indicating they're making a connection. Assuming that the ROMs suddenly developed a nondetection issue, here's the troubleshooting order... Read more

--Submitted by Robert B.

(Please click the following for the honorable mentions and the "It happened to me; here's what I did"section)

For Robert's efforts, we’re sending him his choice of any Learning CD.

Check out next week's question:

The clock on my computer (running Windows 98 SE) keeps losing time--as much as one hour in three days. My computer is always on, so what could be the cause of the time loss, and how can I fix it?

--Submitted by: Patrick R. of Murrieta, California

We feature a new question every Friday. If you have the answer, e-mail us at If we choose your response, you'll get a free CD. Click here for Q&A submission guidelines and check out our previous Q&As here.

Best regards and enjoy!

Lee Koo
CNET Community
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1 Best practices for defragging your drive in XP
Do have a good understanding of how to successfully run the Windows defragging utility? What do you do when you find defragging running over and over without completing? What's a good rule of thumb for defragging your drive, once a week, once month, once a year? Should you run ScanDisk prior or after defragging your drive? If you have similar question that fall into any of these categories, check out this discussion started by one of our members. Hopefully, the answers provided by our members will demystify all those defragging woes. More from the Window XP forum

1 Ghost in the machine?
I know it's a bit early for a Halloween tale, but have you ever run across a computer problem that you just couldn't solve, then after some cursing and threats to pound your computer into bits, the computer just started behaving normally? Sound a bit crazy? Maybe not to this member, because it worked for him. Check out this discussion and have some fun with it and let us know what crazy things you've done to whip your computer into shape. After all, maybe the computer does have feelings. More from the Computer Help Forum

1 Allergic reaction to computer or monitor
OK, I've heard the controversial debates on cellular phones emitting harmful radiation, but getting an allergic reaction to the computer or monitor? Whoa! I just had to stop and read through this thread because I thought it was uncanny. If you think you've had an allergic reaction to computer usage, this is the thread for you. And if you are aware of this issue or have experienced these symptoms, we want to hear from you. For the rest of you, if you're curious like I was, check out what our members are saying. For now, I'm moving my monitor a little farther from my face. More from the Computer Help forum

1 Mac nugget
Blame it on old age, but last week I forgot to mention that in addition to our Mac Hardware and Mac Application and Utilities forums, we have a Mac OS forum also. So check it out. Here's this week's nugget.

This member needs your recommendation for a good backup program to use with his OS 10.0. What do you suggest? Members are starting to chime in, but let's hear more.

How to make a screenshot in Windows XP
PC lost all power, now it won't turn on

 Get help for the holidays
Sure we just passed Labor Day, but my Grandma has her holiday shopping all done. It's not too early to start thinking about what to give and what you want. CNET's here to help. All throughout the Fall and right up to December we'll answer your questions about holiday gadgets and gear. So start sending them in now. Just post your question in the Holiday Q & A forum.

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